Linda Ronstadt: oppinions sought

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I love this singer. Just want to know others reactions to her.

Rich C, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Oh God, stuff her in a box and mail it to Nort h Korea.

Mike Hanle y, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Could you expound on your obnoxious comment, Mike?

Rich C, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Getting Ronstadt to cover Warren Zevon was a 'Brass Eye' style coup. Although it would've been even better if she'd done 'Excitable Boy' instead of 'Poor Poor Pitiful Me'

dave q, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Certainly. THey should include a shithouse rat in the box too.

Mike Hanle y, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

"The peoples of Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia would like to kindly thank Ms. Rondstadt (along with the boys in Aerosmith) for the very bread on our tables during those special, special years."

Andy, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

"The peoples of Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia would like to kindly thank Ms. Rondstadt (along with the boys in Aerosmith) for the very bread on our tables during those special, special years."

Speech read under the 100-ft statue of Lindsey Buckingham in Medellin town square

dave q, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Her music is pretty ass, and under normal circumstances we'd leave it at that. (And Elvis Costello's smart-ass cover of "You're No Good" was the perfect riposte, in that vein).

However, Ms. Ronstadt goes beyond crap music and becomes crap person because she's a grade-A shit-talking hypocrite. Dumb bitch goes and plays Sun City while South Africa was still under the apartheid regime. That makes her evil and she never apologized publicly for doing that. But what makes her a hypocrite is that some years later dumb bitch Ronstadt goes on a TV talk show accusing Howard Stern of being racist against Mexicans (because the flap over the Selena shooting and all of a sudden Ms. Ronstadt "remembers" her Mexican heritage [shame she forgot it before flying off to Sun City]) -- fortunately, Robin Quivers from the Stern show was on at the same time and called Ronstadt out for being the hypocritical bitch that she is.

Fuck her.

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The only thing worse than playing Sun City would be singing on that bloody terrible record about how you weren't going to. "Say ah-ah-ah- ah-ah-ah-ain't..."

dave q, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

"Her music is pretty ass": er, is this good or bad? (cue pynchonoid yatter abt "ass- backwards most equal forwards, since yer ass IS backwards...")

mark s, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Did you mean "pretty-ass"?

dave q, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

And to think that Mr. Suchodolski dislikes "pottymouthed" women....

"Dumb bitch". Why is it that those words go so well together?

Kerry, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Uhh ... longstanding sexism?

Nitsuh, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Maybe I should clarify my original post. I was hoping for reactions to her music, singing etc. If I wanted a political analysis, I would go elsewhere.

Rich C, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Goddammit, and I had a 3,000-word exegesis on Mike Curb ready to post.

dave q, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Well, I did admit that my dislike for "potty-mouthed women" was hypocritical and sexist. Doesn't excuse it, I suppose. I'm just getting over the shock that someone actually paid attention to and remembered something I wrote :- )

I guess Ronstadt sings OK (from a technical POV). So does Celine Dion. So what.

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Mr. Suchodolski, Regarding Sun City. Ronstadt HAS publicly apologized, around 1990 I believe. If you listen to what she said about the incident, I believe you will conclude that she was shortsighted, and maybe even dumb, but not evil. She said she did not believe in any form of censorship of art and that is what led her to original decision to perform there.

Rich C, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Sorry, I must (uneasily) agree with Rich C on this one. I mean, China has the most evil and scary regime in the world, and nobody still hassles George Michael about it.

dave q, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Or, to step on some toes on the left foot, what about the Manic Street Preachers in Cuba? Whoops, getting into politics again. Well, her 'Tracks of my Tears' wasn't as good as Bryan Ferry's

dave q, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Rich C, do a "Search and Destroy" on Ms Ronstadt for us (Search = state the thing or things you feel = most marvellous; destroy = list the stuff that embarasses even YOU THE TOP FAN.

Dave Q: Elton John brought Lenin low; Andrew Ridgley's dancing is the implacable stoneworm in the maoist monolith. This is basic.

mark s, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Does that mean the place where I used to pay my Cable London bill in Camden should be re-named 'Linda Ronstadt Street'?

dave q, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Thanks Dave. I will do a SEARCH and DESTROY and post it here tomorrow.

Rich C, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Sorry, that "THANK YOU" is for Mark.

Rich C, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't like Linda Ronstadt, either, but as a woman, phrases like "dumb bitch" repeated over, and over, and over again have a real visceral impact. I don't need to come into ILM and read a bunch of hostile Usenet-caliber horseshit. I really thought it was better than that. Why such hostility toward someone you don't even know, and over something that happened, like, twenty or twenty-five years ago? It's *disturbing*. I wish I could tell you how reading "dumb bitch" makes *me* feel. I wish I could tell you of all the really nasty abusive situations it reminds me of. Of course, that's all a bunch of victim-whining so I'll just shut up now.

Kerry, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Kerry, Whether or not we agree on Ronstadt. As a human being (I am a Man), I am equally offended by this spewing of verbal venom.

Rich C, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Don't get my mother started on Linda Rondstat. "Worst show I ever saw," she'll say. "Drove all the way from Grand Rapids to Detroit, and she played for, like, 30 minutes." I do remember being fascinated with the "Living in the USA" sleeve as a young tot. Those tube socks! Those roller skates! Strangely, I don't remember actually playing the record, though.

scott p., Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

the other warren zevon song off of that same record ( the "simple dreams" lp - dressing table cover), "carmelita" *that's* choice. the excellent nz band space dust used to do a great versh of that (via hers i mean) live. and then there's her with the stone poney's singing "different drum". what else? (those '70s album covers of hers - even the tube socks one - are nothing on carly simon's, though.)

jon, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

poneys, i mean.

jon, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

"'Her music is pretty ass': er, is this good or bad?"

mark s -- "Ass" = "Pants."

Mark, Tuesday, 31 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Oh fer chrissakes. The SA boycott was a bad idea from the get go. And besides, Howard Stern can get pretty racist. Not to mention that he's popularized the b-word in recent years as much as anyone. (hmmm...). And oh yes, her appearance on the Simpsons = Classic.

Sterling Clover, Wednesday, 1 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Wow, I really stepped into it didn't I?

Since I honestly didn't know that Ms. Ronstadt had apologized for playing at Sun City -- I thought she was unrepetentent -- I retract the part calling her "evil." Though I have to say that I don't understand her so-called defense -- how not playing at Sun City constituted "censorship" in any meaningful sense is totally lost on me. But I'm not retracting the "dumb" part; the crimes of apartheid- era South Africa were certainly well-known at the time Ms. Ronstadt performed there, not to mention that Sun City was located in a bantustan (which settlements had been condemned internationally since they were implemented in the 1970s). To call a person who ignored such overwhelming and well-known, documented evidence of the human rights abuses occurring in South Africa at that time and who offered such an intellectually weak defense for her actions a "dumb bitch" is actually quite mild IMHO. And I also don't really understand how boycotting South Africa was a bad idea, especially since Nelson Mandela himself (and other South African anti-apartheid activists as well as DeKlerk) cited the international boycott as one of the key factors in ending apartheid.

While I can't really say that I'm sorry for calling Ms. Ronstadt a "dumb bitch," I do regret if it caused unnecessary offense and perhaps I should have chosen my words more carefully. But I still stand behind what I said about her being a hypocrite -- someone who, like her, played Sun City should be very circumspect before accusing anyone else of racism. In that sense, whether Stern is or isn't racist, or the Selena skit was or wasn't offensive, is irrelevant -- it's an issue of "don't criticize the speck in my eye when there's a plank in yours."

As for bringing the matter up at all: well, when performers do political acts, it's going to be discussed for better or for worse. If you discuss Richard Wagner's music, someone is going to bring up his virulent anti-Semitism; likewise, if you discuss Charlton Heston's acting career, people will talk about his being President of the NRA. Such discussions may or may not have any bearing on the artistic merits of the perfomer's work, but it will nonetheless come up. And if someone wants to bring up George Michael singing in China, that's their prerogative AFAIC.

And none of this answers whether Ms. Ronstadt's music is any good or not. I'll keep quiet about this now (unless it comes up again) and let Rich C. discuss what he likes about Ms. Ronstadt's music.

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Wednesday, 1 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

has anyone else listened to the beautiful trio2 album, her, dolly and emmylou? Magic.

Geoff, Wednesday, 1 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

one month passes...
In response first to Rich C.: I like her a lot too.

To everyone else: If you don't like Linda, and a lot of you would like to kill her, here's a clue: NOBODY FORCED YOU FUCKERS TO EVEN SET FOOT HERE!!! I don't give a damn about Linda's South African fiasco. If you do, and think Howard Stern was right, that's fine-- you have a nice day too!

To Messrs. Suchodski and Hanley: FUCK YOU BOTH!!!

Erik North, Sunday, 2 September 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Phillip K Dick was obsessed by her, that's good enough for me.

Andrew L, Sunday, 2 September 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Erik your tone is familiar. Do you work at the Post Office on Atlantic Ave??

Tracer Hand, Monday, 3 September 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Meanwhile, back to answering the original question.

The album of lullabyes she made a couple of years back, 'Dedicated To The One I Love' is certifiably the weirdest record ever made my a 'mainstream' arist (poss. exception: Smiley Smile). Main instrumentation is glass harmonica & vocal samples. Total duration is about 25 minutes. General atmosphere is 'David Lynch'-ian. Warm yet spooky. Also of course her version of 'Different drum' is definitive, and she sings a Jimmy Webb song like no-one else can ('Adios' from Cry Like A Rainstorm being a particular fave round here).

I always like to think of her as a female Art Garfunkel; very single- minded, working in a variety of different musical spheres, big on arrangements, both utterly peerless vocalists. hey! Artie even made an LP of lullabyes too!! harveyx

harvey williams, Monday, 3 September 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Agreed about the Jimmy Webb songs. Her version of Webb's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress has to be one of the most amazing vocal performances in pop music history. When she hits the highest notes of this song with power and crystaline clarity, the chills just run up your spine. Another favorite is Still Within The Sound Of My Voice. By the way, she produced a great Jimmy Webb CD back in the early 90's called Suspending Disbelief. Definitely recommended.

Rich C, Tuesday, 4 September 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

To one who asked if I worked at the post office on Atlantic Avenue, the answer is No. I work as a part-time library page in Pasadena.

However, I HAVE been a big fan of Linda's for a long time--and the fact that there are some on this board who like to take pot shots at her just for the sake of doing it drove me to respond in kind. I normally don't use that kind of language on the Web, but I am not going to let a few smart alecks' wise-ass comments go unchallenged.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I want to go on the record as saying that it wouldn't matter to me one way or the other whether Linda should or should have not gone to South Africa; this is supposed to be about her career, not her politics.

I've always thought of her as one of the greatest living female singers alive, and there are plenty of female singers who feel the same way. What a sensational thing it would be to have Linda sing with her spiritual protege Trisha Yearwood!

Erik North, Friday, 7 September 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

What a sensational thing it would be to have Linda sing with her spiritual protege Trisha Yearwood!

One man's sensational thing is another man's screaming nightmare. Although at least you wouldn't be able to understand what Trisha was saying. Amusing (to me) story:

Two friends of mine are singing in the chorus for the Boston Pops Fourth of July Esplanade concert. Trisha Yearwood is the featured guest star. There is much ado and clapping as she steps onto the stage and waves to the crowd. She grabs the microphone, the band and orchestra start up, and she sings something completely incomprehensible into the microphone. Friend 1 turns to Friend 2 and says, "What did she just say?" Friend 2 answers, "I think she said, 'A hey-naw haw-naw HEY-NOW!'" Both are incapacitated for the rest of Trisha's performance. Retellings of this story have added a James Brown "HEH!" to the end.

Dan Perry, Friday, 7 September 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Linda Ronstadt sang on Carla Bley's "Escalator Over The Hill," the greatest record made by anyone, ever, and therefore has diplomatic/aesthetic immunity.

Marcello Carlin, Saturday, 8 September 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Hey Dan. Regarding your screaming nightmare, have you ever heard Linda Ronstadt sing live? Or have you actually ever listened to a full CD of hers? Just curious. I seriously doubt it; Because if you had, I don't believe you would refer to her singing as "screaming". For every belting rock number that she has performed, there are several lesser winded, nuanced performances that reveal what a truly gifted interpretive singer she is. You should invest some time; it might be worth your while.

Rich C, Saturday, 8 September 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

No, Linda can sing extremely well. The screaming is coming from me.

Dan Perry, Monday, 10 September 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

seven years pass...

i like her

surm, Tuesday, 1 September 2009 14:54 (ten years ago) link

I love Simple Dreams, especially her hamfisted covers of "Tumbling Dice" and "It's So Easy."

post-contrarian meta-challop 2009 (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 1 September 2009 14:55 (ten years ago) link

I love her Mexican stuff and that Tucson album she made with Emmylou Harris.

banjoboy, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 02:38 (ten years ago) link

great start to this thread

i love her versions of "dolphins" and "birds"
she sounds like she has complete control over her voice, which is kinda rare in the rock world

velko, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 02:47 (ten years ago) link

three years pass...

<3

tropical storm mysac (crüt), Sunday, 2 September 2012 02:38 (seven years ago) link

Her music is pretty ass, and under normal circumstances we'd leave it at that. (And Elvis Costello's smart-ass cover of "You're No Good" was the perfect riposte, in that vein).
However, Ms. Ronstadt goes beyond crap music and becomes crap person because she's a grade-A shit-talking hypocrite. Dumb bitch goes and plays Sun City while South Africa was still under the apartheid regime. That makes her evil and she never apologized publicly for doing that. But what makes her a hypocrite is that some years later dumb bitch Ronstadt goes on a TV talk show accusing Howard Stern of being racist against Mexicans (because the flap over the Selena shooting and all of a sudden Ms. Ronstadt "remembers" her Mexican heritage [shame she forgot it before flying off to Sun City]) -- fortunately, Robin Quivers from the Stern show was on at the same time and called Ronstadt out for being the hypocritical bitch that she is.

Fuck her.

― Tadeusz Suchodolski

buzza, Sunday, 2 September 2012 04:27 (seven years ago) link

wow!!!!!

tropical storm mysac (crüt), Sunday, 2 September 2012 05:11 (seven years ago) link

seven years pass...

http://i.imgur.com/45I9E6Q.png

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 2 October 2019 19:52 (two weeks ago) link

wait, C3PO?

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 2 October 2019 20:20 (two weeks ago) link

fwiw she is a great singer but I can never get into her, just something too clean and conservative sounding about everything, too perfect

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 2 October 2019 20:21 (two weeks ago) link

love her!! i thought she was a magical muppet-woman hybrid when i was a kid.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 2 October 2019 20:41 (two weeks ago) link

Whatever happened to Tadeusz? He seems nice.

I had really forgotten the whole Sun City flap, here's a lengthy Rolling Stone piece on it.

https://www.ronstadt-linda.com/artrs83.htm

I spent my earliest years in radio at an MOR station where Linda was a welcome reprieve from Robert Goulet.

A breezy pop-rock feel fairly typical of the mid-'80s (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 2 October 2019 21:45 (two weeks ago) link

good wiki on her, I had forgotten abt that Pirates Of Penzance thing

ew @ olde ILM

sleeve, Wednesday, 2 October 2019 21:51 (two weeks ago) link

man alive, if you remain skeptical, please check out Trio, specifically:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjkihwNeCqA

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 2 October 2019 21:54 (two weeks ago) link

Trio is good, and she's good duetting/singing backup on various things (Neil's "Freedom", for ex.) but I have never been able to sustain any interest in her solo career.

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 2 October 2019 21:58 (two weeks ago) link

aaaand I love this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I7GkHy5iOA

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 2 October 2019 22:01 (two weeks ago) link

that is stiff as fuck, you crazy

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 2 October 2019 22:06 (two weeks ago) link

and it works fabulously

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 2 October 2019 22:07 (two weeks ago) link

she sounds alive

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 2 October 2019 22:07 (two weeks ago) link

I don't find the stiffness alienating: she and her Wachtel-led band bring it off. It's never been said, but Bryan Ferry's The Bride Stripped Bare pursues a similar goal and it's just as weird and precise.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 2 October 2019 22:09 (two weeks ago) link

Wow---Ronstadt. Ferry: comparative listening never ever occurred to me, but now that you mention it, will have to try that.
I haven't heard the original Trio CDs, and maybe I'm cutting the box some slack because I got it as promos (mp3s), but a lot of it sounded pretty good to me. Although they did that thing of leaving out "I felt like getting high"--Patti Smith left it out too, but I remembered Chuck's reference to her as a "temperance poet" in a Voice Choice, and when I asked him what that was, he said that in some recent shows (not too long after her re-emergence), she'd been reading verses about her friends and loved ones dying from drinking and related, so maybe that's why she cut the line.
Guess it could be why Trio did it, but more annoying was in the booklet they said they called Neil Young to ask him what the song meant and quoted him as saying hell if he knew. If they couldn't figure it out, why should he try to explain it, they still might not get it, or maybe he didn't know. It's a masterpiece as written and originally recorded; their version is okay, even if they were just connecting the dots "weirdly precise" helped).
Oh yeah, is that new LR documentary good? A lot of alleged music docs are too talky for me.

dow, Wednesday, 2 October 2019 23:39 (two weeks ago) link

The new doc is fantastic and everyone should see it, especially while it's on the big screen. But if one isn't excited by that "Tumbling Dice" clip (which is in the movie also) LR may not be for you.

Just thinking about what she did in the 1980s, it's nuts. Three country rock/new wave/soul albums - one featuring duets with Aaron Neville, two Great American Songbook albums with Nelson Riddle arrangements, the first Trio album, plus an album of Mexican songs, and the Pirates of Penzance original cast album

Josefa, Thursday, 3 October 2019 01:24 (two weeks ago) link

first off what andrew l said upthread is right, philip k. dick did write an entire novel which combined gnostic christianity with his explicit sexual fantasies about linda ronstadt (who in the novel has devoted her entire career to singing john dowland songs because philip k. dick) and it's batshit crazy

second off classic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ8m7P3ZEAo

Calpico Girlfriend (rushomancy), Thursday, 3 October 2019 01:39 (two weeks ago) link

I used to subscribe to the orthodoxy that she was some kind of cold calculating antiseptic chops monster vocalist but somehow got over it after a few decades.

The Hillbilly Chespirito (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 3 October 2019 01:59 (two weeks ago) link

I always did love “Different Drum,” which I could cling to like a flotation device, I always liked interviews with her, I learned to factor in that she was not as raw and raucous a vocalist as I might expect or seem to want in a rock context, the same way I learned to appreciate less bluesy jazz singers, and I found another place to hang my hat on Bob Warford’s B-Bender on songs like this, which I keep spamming the board with:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FiKHaSRMeg

The Hillbilly Chespirito (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 3 October 2019 02:04 (two weeks ago) link

man alive, if you remain skeptical, please check out Trio, specifically:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjkihwNeCqA

― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, October 2, 2019 4:54 PM (four hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

Everything about this is excellent and not much about it makes me want to listen to it again.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 3 October 2019 02:44 (two weeks ago) link

If I had to come up with an explanation I’d say she always sounds a little too pleased with how good her voice sounds and that feeling often seems to overshadow the feeling of the song. But ultimately I just don’t feel it.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 3 October 2019 02:47 (two weeks ago) link

linda sings emitt rhodes <3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za4mzQ3EqvU

linda deep cuts <3 <3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CgLWiQk1fk

lol the band is having some problems (look at Bernie Leadon's wtf expression) but Linda is fire here in full barefoot goddess mode

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iZAHGZmUAs

buzza, Thursday, 3 October 2019 06:01 (two weeks ago) link

she had at least a couple other stabs at this but this rare version is the best

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VexcqzuGIxE

buzza, Thursday, 3 October 2019 06:27 (two weeks ago) link

Saw the documentary last night. I've seen a couple of CNN documentaries that were interesting because they used nothing but actual footage--no voiceover, no interviews--but this one was much more conventional. Keeps it guard up, so you really don't learn a whole lot about what must have been a pretty wild few years in the late-'70s--a reliance on diet pills is as revealing as this gets--but if you're a fan (I'd call myself a very casual one), you'll love that about a third of the film is clips of Ronstadt performing in close-up. Her South African controversy is dealt with briefly; I didn't think her explanation (in a contemporaneous interview) was indefensible. I read someone somewhere (this thread?) saying that she wasn't all that beautiful, that you could walk onto any campus in the 1970s and find hundreds of young women more striking than her. I seriously doubt that.

clemenza, Thursday, 3 October 2019 15:28 (two weeks ago) link


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